Budget Approved for Environmental Issues Facing Almond Industry
(Modesto, Calif.) – The Almond Board of
California has approved nearly $500,000 for research programs dealing with a
broad range of environmental issues facing the California almond industry.
Air and water quality issues top the list of environmental
topics that affect the state’s more than 6,000 growers who farm 610,000 acres in
a growing region that stretches from Redding to Bakersfield.
“The Almond Board’s key environmental role is to bring
practical, applicable information to growers,” asserts Dave Baker, chairman of
the Almond Board’s Environmental Committee. “The research projects we have
approved are a demonstration of our commitment to give our growers the tools
they need to become better stewards of the land.”
The research projects encompass the areas of environmental
stewardship, crop protection and air and water quality. Approved projects
- Almond Pest Management Alliance: This
collaborative effort between growers, Pest Control Advisors and University of
California Cooperative Extension farm advisors has completed its fifth year.
Researchers are compiling a resource guide that will allow growers to
effectively employ the reduced-risk pesticide strategies that emerged from the
- Spray Swath Analysis and Drift Management: This
project’s objectives include study of how to minimize the drift of pesticide
sprays through reduced application rates, while meeting stricter regulatory
- Reducing the Impact of Dormant Sprays: This
research studies the impact and efficacy of alternatives to dormant season
uses of pesticides such as chlorpyrifos and diazinon that have come under
scrutiny by regulatory agencies for their impact on some aquatic organisms in
- Benefits of Chipping Almond Brush: Wood chips can
have a beneficial impact on soil nutrients and this research will study the
various benefits almond orchards may derive from the chipping of almond brush.
Impending air quality regulations will end the practice of burning brush
throughout the San Joaquin Valley by the year 2010.
- Evaluating Dust Generation using In-Line Monitoring:
With Valley agriculture facing regulatory controls for emissions of
particulate matter known as PM10, this study will install sensors on
harvesting equipment and coordinate its testing with ongoing dust emissions
testing funded by the Board.
- Improvement of PM10 Emission Factors for Almond
Harvesting: The objective is to measure the in-field PM10 from almond
harvesting, which will quantify variations in emission factors produced by
different management practices. This data will allow the development of an
EPA-approved model for low-level point sources.
- Management Alternatives to Current Harvest
Procedures: As of July 1, 2004 growers are required to prepare
Conservation Management Plans detailing how they will control dust. This
project will identify the range of soils in Valley orchards, conduct field
experiments to measure specific air borne dust emissions and contribute to the
CMPs being developed by the Valley air district.
- Minimizing Emissions from Chloropicrin Soil
Fumigation: With the phasing out of the soil fumigant methyl bromide, this
project will develop practical cultural and irrigation practices that minimize
fumigant emissions from the soil and allow practical use of alternatives to
- Central Valley Watershed Coalitions: Growers are
required to monitor runoff from their orchards for pesticides, fertilizers,
sediment and other naturally occurring elements such as salt and boron.
Watershed coalitions are being formed through the Valley to help growers
comply with regulations. This project will assist in developing Best
Management Practices (BMPs) to protect surface water, communicate BMP
information and conditional waiver updates to growers, and link almond growers
with the various coalitions while providing internet-based information and
newsletters to keep growers informed of the latest developments, regulations,
meetings and workshops.
- Environmental Stewardship Campaign: Promoting
the environmentally friendly practices of almond growers is the focus of this
pro-active project. Utilizing the thirty years of research funded by growers,
this project keeps growers informed of the various environmental regulations,
while at the same time educating the public and leading opinion makers about
the environmentally responsible practices of almond growers.
More information concerning these projects can be found at
The Almond Board of California administers a grower-enacted
Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of
Agriculture. Established in 1950, the Board's charge is to promote the best
quality almonds, California's largest tree nut crop. For more information on
the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit